Complex 214 – Unethical Ends

Complex 214 game components on the tableComplex 214 character generation include three card-driven facets – Mutation, Secret Affiliation and Unethical Ends.

I have been looking with some interest at the lattermost.

Essentially, all characters have a purpose in their daily existence. Characters in Complex 214 could not describe themselves as competent in much at all. They don’t need to be. The protocols that drive the balance and integrity of the contained society demands no one individual become too good at anything.

With great power comes great risk of abuse.

That’s why all characters start with a flat chance of success in a challenge. You’re not that good and you’re just not meant to be.

Unethical Ends represent those facets of their day assignment that have become areas of expertise, quite against the expectations of the protocols. People don’t get promoted because they’re good at stuff, or at least not according to the strictest renditions of the protocols.

Each character works for a department, office, organisation or agency responsible for something within the wider maintenance and management of the Complex. In getting ideas, I have needed to look no further than the many and varied branches of British Government, though I might try a couple of other countries for variety. It doesn’t make for particularly amusing or gigglesome reading, but it does show just how many agencies, departments and non-ministerial offices you need to run a country (or a Complex).

For every Unethical Ends card, the text will offer a brief definition of organisational responsibilities, then list a few suggestions of how you might adapt skills, expertise and understanding in that area to complete tasks. In most instances, the suggestions offered will angle use to unethical ends.

For example, the Gee-Gnomes – the group who complete tedious organic tissue mapping for medical ends – might Exploit Annual Fitness Records, Speed Assess Achilles Heel, and Spout Advanced Medical Gobbledegook. If the player can come up with some other convincing angle, the GM can still allow them to discharge their card for a bonus.

I seem to have a list of about 50 interesting looking agencies, but I suspect that list will become more manageable (if only because I need to write them all up!).

At the same time, I’m looking at the best ways to make the game cards for playtesting Complex 214. While I could do them all by hand, I might consider other options of a less labour intensive nature, though they will inevitably cost money…

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